United States (MNN) — Urbana is the triennial student missions conference held in St. Louis, Missouri. This year’s Urbana, Urbana 18, will take place three months from now from December 27-31. But its legacy started over 70 years ago when the conference first served 575 students in 1946 in Toronto, Canada.
Urbana Student Missions Conference
The conference more than doubled in attendance two years later when it was held in Urbana-Champaign, giving the conference its name. Today, Urbana takes place in a space which can hold 300,000 people.
Urbana, a catalytic event, helps students find and live into their calling from Christ. The conference includes worship with 16,000 people. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana Worship Director Eric Lige says worship is important because it helps people with spiritual formation and deepens their faith.
“It brings us closer in community with one another but deeper in community with God as well. I feel like, for me, worship is important in that it allows us to enter into this deeper space where we can connect with God…it helps to solidify our faith,” Lige explains.
The conference also includes Bible exposition, seminars, manuscript Bible studies, testimonies from the global church, and of course, prayer ministry. Urbana 18 will dive into the rich scriptures of Revelation. To help participants prepare, Urbana is offering a 25-day Revelation Challenge reading plan. This plan will help participants read through the entire book while refreshing their view of the text so they can dive deeper into the text at Urbana 18.
Preparing for Urbana
However, there are other ways to prepare for Urbana 18, too. Lige says now is the time for the Church to intercede with prayer.
“Pray that their hearts would be open to hearing from God, to receive from God. Pray for all the speakers in the worship team that God would use us to be His vessels, and then I will say, probably spend some time reading the book of Revelation because that’s the Bible book that we’re going to focus on,” Lige shares.
Also, pray for the singers and anyone else who will be on Urbana 18’s platform. Ask for God’s love to be extended and experienced during Urbana 18. Pray that God would speak through those leading Urbana 18 and for no personal agendas to take the stage. And finally, ask that God would prepare the hearts of all Urbana 18 participants so they would respond to God’s call on their lives.
“I would love for people to walk away knowing that Revelation is actually a book about victory, about triumph in Jesus that Jesus is seated on His throne and that he’s the victorious one,” Lige says.